We all love Shakespeare, but have you ever wondered what the bard ate? Research has determined a brief handful of the items the bard himself enjoyed and ate.

Unfortunately, most recorded information in 17th century England was lost and the few remaining records surrounding the era provides limited information and speculation. The biggest clue to what the bard himself ate was the food mentioned in his plays and from anthropological excavations (pictured below is the reconstruction of Shakespeare's Globe Theater in London).

sausage, meat, pork
David Zambuto

What clues exist? 

beer, tea, coffee
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Since Shakespeare lived in 17th century England, it can be inferred that his diet was close to that of the lower class.

What foods were found? 

For the clues to what Shakespeare himself ate, researchers and anthropologists speculate that the bard's diet was close to what theater goers ate at the time.

According to sources at NPR, archaeologists have determined that from excavating the Rose and Globe theater that some food items theater goers did included grapes, figs, blackberries, raspberries, plums and chicken as well as nuts, shellfish. 

beer, pizza, tea
Camilla Caffo

Other sources at the Telegraph report that warden pie (pear pie), marchpane (a precursor for marzipan that included ground almonds), sugar and water and posset (which contained hot milk, sugar and egg). It also turns out that Shakespeare was a heavy consumer of ale, which was cheaper and more widely consumed as a result of water being heavily polluted. 

cake, tea
David Zambuto

Other foods popular at the time bread, butter, beer, stew of mutton or beef or veal, rabbit and chicken, fresh and salt water fish, oysters, vegetables and fruits, strawberries, hens, geese, deer with sauces of musk, saffron, and ambergis.

beer, tea, coffee
David Zambuto
One clue that we can speculate on what Shakespeare ate was the "accomplisht" cookwhich was published in 1660. Other foods included "shrewsberry" cakes, which shortbread cookies, jellies and junkets (better known as gelatin or jellies), "sassages," gooseberry foyle, elderberry and blackberry pies. In the theater pit, walnuts, hazelnuts, plums, cherries, peaches, raisins, mussels, periwinkles and crabs were often eaten.